Hands off Yemen. Hands off Yemen. Photo: Alisdare Hickson / Flickr / cropped from original / CC BY-SA 2.0, license linked at bottom of article

As the devastation of Yemen continues, Stop the War is part of a global coalition organising an international day of action against the war

Despite a ceasefire agreement at the start of the pandemic, the Saudi-led coalition has stepped up its attacks on Yemen over the last six months. To make matters worse, the Saudi regime has tightened its blockade on the country. The results are horrific.

The combination of war, blockade and disease is creating a situation in which the very future of the population is at stake.

In a statement on Tuesday, Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, talked of a country at a tipping point:

“We’ve been warning since July that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food security crisis. If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children.”

This terrible situation is being aggravated by the fact that incredibly, UN aid to the country has been drastically cut during the pandemic.

According to a UN agency, in south Yemen, acute malnutrition cases in children aged below five have increased by about 10% in 2020 to more than half a million. As well as raising the prospect of mass child deaths through starvation, survivors are likely to be scarred for life. Acute malnutrition in children leads to irreversible damage to the brain.

The West’s shame

Every effort must be made to force the Saudi regime and its backers in the West to end the war that is causing such barbarity. The US and Britain have backed the Saudi-led war by increasing arms sales, by sending equipment and special forces to help the war effort, and by publicly and privately supporting Mohammed Bin Salman’s brutal regime. Despite a 2019 court ruling banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia in Britain, the government restarted sales in August.

Many other Western nations have provided support of various kinds to Saudi Arabia including France, Canada, Spain and Italy.

A global protest

Anti-war, Yemeni and humanitarian organisations from around the world have come together to call an international day of action on January 25th 2021. We are asking organisations to call protests in towns and cities around the world.

This is a situation in which action can make a difference. The Saudis are making no headway in the war. Their war coalition cracked in 2019 when the UAE pulled out and they face serious economic problems at home. International opinion against the war is growing and

Leading politicians in the West, including US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, have been forced to speak out against it.

So far 65 organisations worldwide are committed to the actions. In Britain, there will be a protest outside Downing Street on the evening of 25th January, but we are asking everyone who is against the war to call socially distanced vigils and protests everywhere around the country.

Please get in touch with Stop the War to let us know your plans as soon as possible. This has to be a protest that the warmongers cannot ignore.

Read and share the statement here.

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Chris Nineham

Chris Nineham is a founder member of Stop the War and Counterfire, speaking regularly around the country on behalf of both. He is author of The People Versus Tony Blair and Capitalism and Class Consciousness: the ideas of Georg Lukacs.